Park life

It’s not easy being green

04 July 2017
  • London’s parks and green spaces face an uncertain future due to limited funds.
  • The capital’s green spaces provide environmental, physical, mental, social and economic benefits for Londoners.
  • The Mayor has committed to improving access to green space – in his election manifesto[1] he pledged to make more than 50 per cent of the city green and to ensure that all children have access to nature.

The London Assembly Environment Committee launches the report, ‘Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners’ [2]  today which looks at what measures should be taken to protect and improve the capital’s green spaces.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • In the forthcoming Environment Strategy, the Mayor should
    -  clarify his plans to increase London’s green space in terms of quality, multi-functionality and accessibility
    -  set out a specific action plan to improve green space data collection to help target investment which improves access to, and quality of, green spaces.
  • The Greater London Authority should examine the feasibility of setting up a single, citywide website to provide key information on all London’s green spaces, including ways to get involved and a crowdfunding function.
  • Team London – the Mayor’s volunteering programme - should assist green space managers in recruitment, retention and satisfaction of volunteers, including assistance for fundraising, diversifying the membership base and connecting with target groups.
  • The Mayor should appoint a Green Infrastructure Commissioner or Champion.

Environment Committee Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, said:

“It is no longer the case that we can rely on local councils alone to maintain our parks and other green spaces. The money is simply not available. They will still play a central role, but need support.

This report encourages forward thinking to ensure London’s parks and green spaces – which are renowned throughout the world – are not only protected but also improved. We recommend that volunteers play a key role, crowdfunding is explored, and private investment is encouraged across the board.

We’re calling for a team effort – with the Mayor supporting the public and private sectors to work with Londoners to protect and improve our green spaces.”

Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners

REPORT LAUNCH – MEDIA INVITATION

The report will be launched at an historic and award-winning park in central London which has been restored to its original Victorian design. Volunteers help maintain the garden which hosts after-school clubs, poetry readings, gardening sessions and other local community events.

Spokespeople:

  • Leonie Cooper AM, Chair, London Assembly Environment Committee
  • Paul Ely, Director, Bankside Open Spaces Trust
  • Scott Malone, volunteer
  • Joseph Bonner, Trustee
  • Megan Greenwood, local resident and park user

Time: 10:30am-11:15am
Location: Red Cross Garden, 50 Redcross Way, London SE1 1HA
Nearest stations: Borough (Northern line) and London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines),

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND

Follow us @LondonAssembly and tweet about the report using #AssemblyEnv or #GreenSpaces

Notes to editors

  1. A Greener, Cleaner London from A Manifesto for all Londoners, 9 March 2016.
  2. The ‘Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners’ report is attached.
  3. Leonie Cooper AM, Environment Committee Chair, is available for interview – see contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.